Text: Acts 21:1-26 | Listen to Message
Does God Want Me To Be Safe?
We are arguably the safest, most comfortable generation in the history of the world. We feel entitled to safety and comfort, and these are major factors in how we view “God’s will” for our lives. Certainly, we tell ourselves, God wants me to be as safe and successful as possible. And so we automatically assume God’s will means less risk and more (short-term) reward. We instinctively pursue the experiences, relationships, and material things that we think will make us most comfortable.
This is the kind of thinking we encounter in Acts 21. The Spirit is compelling Paul to go to Jerusalem to preach the Gospel at Pentecost and to deliver a large financial gift to the Jewish Christians. These are worthy ambitions. But when other Christians realize Paul is likely to suffer and be arrested in Jerusalem, they automatically jump to the conclusion that this can’t possibly be God’s will.
But why not? We say we follow a Savior who exchanged the comfort and safety of a heavenly throne for the agony and shame of an earthly cross. We say we believe our salvation depends on the sufferings and death of Jesus – that his sacrifice was the will of God. And then we turn right around and run from suffering and sacrifice, as if there’s no way these could be a part of God’s perfect plan for us.
But suffering is part of God’s plan. And it’s a good and necessary part. Suffering allows us to retrace the steps of Jesus in the power of Jesus, confessing that our ultimate hope is not found in temporary and material things. When we chase the will of God no matter the risk, no matter the cost, we’re also showing the world that we’ve found a treasure worth living and dying for.